The practical driving test has changed substantially over the years, and was revamped again in December 2017. It would be interesting to see if those of us who’ve been driving for years would pass the driving test of today! It’s worth keeping up to date with the latest changes and ensuring that we’re as safe as possible on the road.
Here’s a summary of the main changes to give you an idea of what’s required of new drivers taking their tests:
1. There’s more independent driving
Candidates now have to drive independently (without turn by turn directions) for 20 minutes, up from the previous 10! As a little test, you could set a timer for 20 minutes and pretend that you’re driving in test conditions. It’s mirror, signal, manoeuvre time!
2. You’ll have to follow a satnav
Many of us do this anyway, but in the independent driving part of the test, candidates have to follow the satnav’s directions (or in some cases road signs) safely, while still staying aware of hazards, other road users and the basic rules of driving. Why not give that a go?
3. The manoeuvres have changed
The much-hated reverse around a corner has gone, along with the turn in the road (although it’s still important that we know how to do these things properly!). Instead, candidates will have to do one of the following: a parallel park, a bay park and a reverse for two car lengths before rejoining the traffic. Could you do all of those today?
4. Questions will be asked
If you’re used to driving with children, you’re probably a pro at answering tricky questions while you’re motoring around. At the start of the new test, candidates will be asked a ‘tell me’ question, where they must answer how they would carry out a road safety task. During the test they’ll be asked a ‘show me’ question, where they must perform a road safety task, for example: show me how your windscreen wipers work. Have a think about the questions you might be asked in a test situation next time you’re behind the wheel. Would you be able to answer them convincingly?
The importance of road safety
We’re not suggesting that you’ll have to retake your driving test, but it’s good to know what the government considers important when it comes to road safety. Aside from being good at manoeuvres and multitasking, one of the best ways to stay safe is to make sure your car is well maintained and roadworthy.
You wouldn’t be allowed to drive a substandard car for a driving test, and you shouldn’t do so on a day-to-day basis. That means making sure your car would pass its MOT at any given time (not just as a mad panic before your MOT test is due). From making sure your tyres are legal to ensuring that your engine is running efficiently, servicing your car frequently will help to make your car safer and could even save you money in the long run.
Visit your local IN’n’OUT Centre for a refreshingly different approach to MOT testing, car servicing and repairs. Find your local centre here.